I am completely new to Ubuntu. I have a Dell Studio 1555 laptop. I had Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit) installed onto it and it was the only OS. In Windows, my 250-GB hard disk was partitioned only into drive C (where Windows was installed) and drive D.

Recently, I installed Ubuntu 13.04 via a pen drive; I performed a clean install. My aim was to be able to use Windows 7 and Ubuntu 13.04 both as and when required wherein I expected to get a screen that asks me to choose between the two when I boot the laptop. I had done the same on my desktop and it worked fine.

However, on my laptop, when I choose Windows 7 at the screen where I am supposed to choose between Ubuntu 13.04 and Windows 7, it doesn't boot up, saying "Windows 7 cannot start because of some recent software or hardware changes". They ask me to use the Windows installation disc and repair my computer. When I did that (using the installing Windows through USB method), there was no option to "repair your computer", which I think indicates that it doesn't detect the already installed Windows.

I don't remember what exactly is it that I did wrong while installing Ubuntu but I remember NOT selecting "overwrite" or "erase disk", because I wanted my Windows data to remain intact. Also, I think I must have installed Ubuntu in the same drive as Windows (drive C) and that my "home", "root", "bin", "boot" are in the same drive because in Ubuntu the only device I see under "Devices" is "Computer" with all the aforementioned folders.

Ubuntu works just fine. However, I can't find my Windows data anywhere! Almost all the data was in drive D with only programs installed in C. I don't mind losing the application programs but my drive D contained some very important data.

I searched the forums for a solution but for fear of making the problem completely irrepairable, I didn't try most of the stuff. I just need to access the data so that I can copy it onto my desktop and perform clean installations of Ubuntu and Windows 7 again.

I don't know if this will help: paste.ubuntu.com/5794687

Thank you!


Try to install "gparted" on Ubuntu-Software-Center, it at least let's you see the partition table like in Partition Magic on Windows. It also offers some repair options for partitions and with great documentation on it's side, as it is a quite old Linux tool. ;3)

Had the same under XP...it was not working after resizing, deleting Linux for a cleaner install and repairing it like usual...had to reinstall it, maybe with gparted you'll be able to escape that fate.

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  • Thanks for the prompt reply! I installed GParted as you told and now I can see the partition table. I don't know how to paste a screen shot here so I'm going to describe it to you: sda1 is labeled "DellUtility" of type "fat16" with flag "diag". sda2 is labeled "System Reserved" of type "ntfs" with flag "boot". sda3 is not labeled anything with type "ext3". sda4 is not labaled anything with type "linux-swap". I think sda3 is my C partition from Windows and sda4 is my D partition from Windows. sda3 is currently mounted with Mount Point "/". Both sda3 and sda4 have a key icon next to them. – Udayan K Aug 27 '13 at 9:12
  • The sizes of sda3 and sda4 are identical to those of partitions C and D in Windows respectively. Please tell me how to access these partitions? I'm guessing from the key icon next to them that they are protected/locked, preventing any access. sda4 has an option of "swapoff". Infact, I need to access sda4 only just to be able to backup the data. What will "swapoff" do? – Udayan K Aug 27 '13 at 9:16
  • Here it is: imgur.com/9pIuDFu – Udayan K Aug 27 '13 at 9:21
  • I think I have an idea about what I did. I made the entire sd4 as a swap space. Does that mean my data from sd4, which I suspect to be partition D in Windows, is lost? The "used" and "unused" columns in GParted show a mere "--". Please help! – Udayan K Aug 27 '13 at 9:43
  • I swapped-off sd4 and now there's no key icon next to it. Maybe I am wrong in trying to access it from within Ubuntu, I'll never see the Windows data. But Windows doesn't boot! Help! – Udayan K Aug 27 '13 at 9:52

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